Rossi Is Putting It All Out There

Rossi Is Putting It All Out There

Weeks prior to releasing his debut, "7 Minutes," Rossi emerged outside Silver Lake’s Akbar in hair-metal makeup, a purple latex singlet and towering animal print platforms. While friends lit him with a flashlight and filmed, the breakout singer dodged oncoming traffic with a massive disco ball over his head, as tipsy gays crowded around at bar close.

This 2 AM DIY production became his campy single promo, establishing Rossi as LA’s "King of the Crosswalk" and setting the stage for his solo brand of over-the-top '80s pop.

"There’s something magical to me about that era of music, Rossi tells PAPER, reflecting on the hyper-glam style of icons like Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. "It was so fun, so bright, so shiny. I have always been inspired by artists that put on a show and have eras. Every artist from that time was doing that. You had to put it all out there to make your mark."

Photography: Franz Szony

With sugary synths and a sunny California melody, "7 Minutes” is nostalgic candy, packed entirely with tongue-in-cheek references: “Give me 7 minutes in heaven, baby/ I won’t kiss and tell,” Rossi sings, encouraging his crush to "spin the bottle." The track was co-written and produced with Rossi’s good friend, Brandon Sammons, featuring guitars from Rod Castro (of BeyoncéBlack Is King fame).

"When we wrote ['7 Minutes'] I was healing from a breakup (a divorce, actually) and all I wanted to do was make something fun that people can dance to and feel transported to a different era that also feels current," Rossi says. "That’s all I’m ever really looking to do: help people forget about their daily stresses and let loose."

The accompanying music video, premiering today on Instagram, brings more of Rossi’s community into the fold and doubles down on the cheese of it all. Everything started with hair and makeup artist Samantha Lepre, who used her own "standard glam" to help Rossi develop his in the visual. They shot in photographer Franz Szony’s backyard with choreography by Kent Boyd and a colorful cast of extras: Jack Eller, Jake Dupree, Tevyn Cole and Gareth Peck.

"When you know the artist is in on the fun, nothing is better to me," Rossi says. "I was super inspired visually by [the ’80s TV show] Jem and the Holograms for this. I made a comment that I feel like I’m giving 'Katy Perry, but gay' as an artist and people have actually started telling me they get exactly what I mean by that.”

He continues, "I live for that, because when you don’t take yourself too seriously and just lean into your campiness and who you really are, people can feel that and they wanna be on the journey with you."

Directors: Rossi and Samantha Lepre
DP and lighting: Franz Szony
Hair and makeup: Samantha Lepre
Choreography: Kent Boyd
Cast: Jack Eller, Jake Dupree, Tevyn Cole, Samantha Lepre, Gareth Peck and Rossi